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First Time Build - $1500 Music Production/Light Gaming

Last response: in Systems
June 4, 2010 12:49:37 AM

Hi! I'm very excited/terrified to attempt my very first homebuilt system and could really use some feedback from more experienced people. Here's my official homebuilt system form:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next two weeks

BUDGET RANGE: ~$1500 after rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Music production and recording, web browsing, movies, gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Other than maybe speakers and a keyboard, I'm buying everything new.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:, but I'm open to good deals found elsewhere


PARTS PREFERENCES: I'd like to build a system based around an Intel i5-750



MONITOR RESOLUTION: I'm buying a new monitor, probably something 1680x1050

Here are the parts I'm looking at right now:

CPU: Intel Core i5-750 - $200

MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P LGA 1156 - $185

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) - $135

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W Power Supply - $90

HD: OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $110

...and SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $70

GPU: XFX HD-575X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5750 - $130

Audio: Echo Gina 3G PCI Audio Interface - $280

Optical: Sony Optiarc Black DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM - $20

HSF/Cooling: I'm not sure what is necessary here. The case I have picked out includes 3 120mm fans.

Case: LIAN LI Lancool PC-K7B Black Aluminum/ SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $100

Monitor: Any suggestions for something around $150?

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit - $100

This puts my total price at $1570, if I include a $150 monitor. With rebates and combo deals I save about $90, so I'm at $1480.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The main purpose of this computer will be for recording and editing music, so video and gaming potential can take a backseat to CPU/RAM/multitasking. Some additional concerns:

1. Does everything look compatible?

2. Memory: If I opt for 64-bit Windows, would it be significantly more beneficial to get more than the 4GB of ram? In trying to stay around $1500, I was thinking I could go with 4GB for now.

3. Cooling: Will I need additional cooling with this rig?

4. Does anything appear to be insufficient/overkill?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I realize that it's an investment of time to answer a constant stream of questions from inexperienced people like me and I thank you in advance for any criticism/suggestions.
June 4, 2010 1:03:01 AM

1. Yes. And excellent choices.
2. Adding RAM later is a very easy future upgrade. Go with 4 now.
3. The only cooling option you may want to consider is an aftermarket CPU cooler.
4. The PSU is sized for two 5750 video cards. Did you have that in mind for a future upgrade as well?
June 4, 2010 1:10:43 AM

WR2 said:
4. The PSU is sized for two 5750 video cards. Did you have that in mind for a future upgrade as well?

Thank you for the quick reply! I wasn't really considering crossfire, so a cheaper PSU without that capability would probably be just fine. Anyone have any suggestions?
Related resources
June 4, 2010 2:01:17 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
At a cost of the stated $385 for the two you chose , I'd get this for $10 less:

$370 ASUS P7P55D-E Pro w/ Intel i5-750

here's why

You won''t save any significant $$ downgrading from a 650 watter.

Hm. It looks like they just discontinued that deal. But those combo deals definitely seem like the way to go. Right now I can get the Gigabyte MoBo with the Vertex HD for $260 after rebates, and the i5 with the Lian Li case for $265, which seems pretty good. I hope those deals don't disappear too.
June 4, 2010 3:19:32 AM

Nice find on the combo deals.
The Corsair 650TX is such a good deal at the moment it is hard to find a good 500W PSU that isn't within a few bucks when you factor in shipping and rebates.
Corsair 450VX is $60 after rebate plus $7 shipping vs Corsair 650TX is $70 a/r and free shipping. The 550VX is $70 a/r and $7 shipping -go figure. Thats another sale that might slip away soon.

One PSU that might interest you is the OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W $60 before $20 rebate and free shipping.
It's a step below the top PSUs but it's still a decent option. OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W review

This is looking like a decent monitor close to the price you mentioned.
ASUS VH235T-P 24" 1920x1080 LCD $180 (plus $10 off till 6/7)
June 4, 2010 4:22:20 AM

WR2 said:
This is looking like a decent monitor close to the price you mentioned.
ASUS VH235T-P 24" 1920x1080 LCD $180 (plus $10 off till 6/7)

Thanks for the suggestions! That monitor looks more than decent to me, but I'm tempted to go with a cheaper 19" screen in 1440 x 900. It's tough finding one as highly praised as that 24" though.

I might go with the 500W PSU if that's all I need.